Wolf Medicine and Lion Medicine

Wolves

As you know if you’ve been reading Wisdom and Life wolves have always been a powerful symbol for me.  I’ve considered them my shamanic animal for almost the entirety of my life.  I share so many qualities with the wolf:
–Wolf Medicine tells you that slow and steady gets the prize.
–Wolf brings with him a strong sense of faithfulness, inner strength and intuition.
–The Wolf has excellent hearing sensitivity, and is a reminder that you should listen to others, especially those closest to you; but also to yourself your most inner thoughts and words. This will strengthen and enhance your own intuition and discernment.

 

I’ve always identified with the wolf for the above reasons and many others.  Their soulful howl creates gooseflesh on every pore of my skin.  Seeing them in a pack is an awesome image.
Image from:
WordPress

 

Lions

Image from:
Wikimedia

I was born in August under the zodiac sign of Leo the Lion; because of that I’ve recently become more aware of the Lion in my worldview.  I’ve been researching the similarities of both animals as I sometimes do when I find a new interest.  I’ve found many traits wolves and lions share.  According to What’s Your Sign the symbolic meaning for lions include:

–Wisdom
–Power
–Loyalty
–Dignity
–Courage
–Justice

–and several others

Do you see the common traits between these two magnificent animals?
–Both are loyal.
–Both have power but only use it when needed.
–Both share all the traits listed above.

 

Wolves and Lions

 

Since studying Shamanic Animals for sometime I’ve been under the false assumption that our animals must remain static, that we can ONLY have one animal guide us through our entire lives.  I now understand that multiple animals can guide us.  I do however believe that if another animal will arrive in our lives both animals must share similar traits.

 

The wolf and the lion both share traits as I listed above so I guess it shouldn’t be such a surprise that both animals resonate with me.  For those of you who study this subject, have any of you noticed a particular animal in your life?  Then at some point seen another animal enter as well?

 

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!

Blessings to you.

Chris

Kneeling at the Feet of All Creatures

The truly wise person kneels at the feet of all creatures and is not afraid to endure the mockery of others.

Mechtild of Magdeburg
Christian Mystics
Matthew Fox
Page 67

 

Image from:
Tumblr

The above quote Mechtild of Magdeburg resonated with me because I seem to have an animal magnetism.  Animals of all kind seem to be attracted to me.  The picture above is an actual representation of something that happened to me a few years ago.  For about a month in the early morning while leaving for work, a family of fox (two kits and two adults) would come of the woods near my condo and watch me as I stepped in my car.

 

After this happened for about two weeks, one of the kits came out of the woods.  I bent down, held out my hand and the kit actually sniffed at my outstretched hand, looked up at me then raced back with his family.

 

I think we were both shocked at the brazenness of the small animal.  Animals have never really been frightened by me.

 

Another time I was out walking in Killingworth, Connecticut near Chatfield Hollow, when a black bear crossed my path.  

Image from:
Wikipedia

The bear simply looked at me and ambled on its way.  I’ve often wondered what animals see in me not to give chase, not to do harm to me.  I’m certainly not going to test the delicate balance I seem to have with their wild nature.  I find it fascinating however that animals see in me some kindred spirit?  Someone who really does live the quote:
Live and let live.

 

Of the two recent experiences I’ve had with nature, the black bear crossing my path left me the most unsettled.  The bear could very well have done monumental bodily harm to me and no one would have known seeing as I was out walking alone…

 

I’ve experienced other encounters with nature that has left me unscathed as well.  The incidents with the bear and the fox are just my most recent and most startling with wild nature.

 

Dogs that normally are aggressive with other people are almost ninety percent of the time docile and completely friendly with me.  In fact, a few months ago I was out walking with a friend of mine (Not my usual walking companion.)  We walked passed a barking dog and my friend panicked.  He crossed the street and wouldn’t return.  The dog kept barking and ran toward me.  As the animal drew closer, his whole demeanor changed.  It was almost as if the dog recognized me as a friend.  His tail began to wag and his barks became less aggressive and by the time he reached me he flopped down exposing his belly and was bucking up and down expecting me to reach down and pet him.

 

Meanwhile, the dog’s owner had exited the house and when she saw what was happening, she was dumbstruck.  She found her voice and finally said:
I never saw Beau act like that before.  I half expected to drag him off of you.  The way he raced after you I thought sure he would continue barking.  Beau has always been aggressive when anyone comes near our house.  He’s never actually bitten anyone, just bares his teeth and incessantly barks at anyone or anything that moves.  It’s why I have an electric fence around around our yard.

 

I could only shrug my shoulders.  I couldn’t explain it.  Well, I COULD, but she would probably look at me cross eyed and mumble to herself.

 

I don’t know what it is that makes animals that SHOULD be aggressive toward most people create a completely opposite attitude toward me.  Maybe they sense the shamanic wolf in me?

 

As I said previously, I certainly don’t go out of my way to test this.  These events I’ve experienced are spontaneous and I’m always surprised by them.

 

As I’m writing this now I just flashed on another experience I had with a German Shepherd in my maternal grandparent’s neighborhood on Graham Terrace in Lisbon, Connecticut.

Image from:
Wikimedia

I spent quite a bit of time in Lisbon when I was young, mostly from the age of six to about fourteen.

 

There was a German Shepherd in the neighborhood that was aggressive with all the children. Everyone that is except myself. This dog was kept fenced in.  

I walked right up to the fence ALL the time, much to the shock of my friends, The German would race over to me, jump up and lick my face.  When my other friends approached the fence, the dog would become agitated and start growling from across the fenced in yard.

 

So even as a young boy, most animals saw in my not a threat, not someone to be aggressive with, not someone to be afraid of.  Rather, they saw in me a friend, a companion.  I was and am still far from afraid to endure mockery from those who believe I’m putting myself at risk.

 

I’m not.  All of these experiences I’ve written about here today with the exception of the last event has been at the animal’s behest.  I haven’t instigated any approach with the exception of the Graham Terrace German Shepherd.

 

I still wonder at the events with the wildness of nature and why nature doesn’t see me as a threat, as a danger to be dealt with.

 

Anyone else have similar tales to tell?
I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Saint Francis

Welcome to another “Saint’s Monday” Column.  Today Let’s hear about Saint Francis of Assisi.  One of the stories about Saint Francis that truly resonates with me is about my totem animal, the wolf:

It was said that at one point in his life, there was a lone wolf terrorizing the town where Saint Francis lived in Italy.  He ventured out and attempted to tame the wolf.  When the wolf saw Francis it charged at him growling and made to attack.  Francis held up a hand and commanded the animal to stop.  The wolf slowed, approached Saint Francis and lay down at his feet.

 

The wolf offered his paw when Francis held out his hand and from then on the two were friends and the wolf never challenged anyone in the town again.  Being that wolves are so important to me and such a huge part of my own life this story is the of the biggest reasons I admire  Saint Francis.

 

Saint Francis is known as the Patron Saint of Animals because of this example and many others.  It was said that birds flocked to Saint Francis when he was out walking and upon his transition it was written that a flock of birds flew down around his service.

 

Hmmmm.  Does that sound familiar.  Anyone who has followed my blog for sometime should recognize the significance of birds at a funeral.  If you remember in January, 2012 I mentioned going to my Uncle Jim’s funeral and seeing a flock of geese flying over the interment ceremony.  This yet another example of the connectedness of everything.

 

Animals seem to gravitate to me and not simply domesticated animals.  A few years ago there was a family of fox that lived in the wetlands near my house and every morning for about six weeks in the spring they would trot out of the woods and watch me leave for work.  A few weeks into this experience, two of the three kits approached me and as I bent down to hold out my hand, they each in turn sniffed my hand, looked up at me then raced back into the woods.

 

I seem to have animal magnetism so to speak, because even domesticated animals sense that I’m not going to harm them.  Pets of people who have no knowledge of me also approach me without any fear, without any anger.  They seem to instinctively understand that I’m a good person.

 

This is yet another reason I decided to discuss Saint Francis today, because of the similarities between us.

 

Can you find a saint who you share traits with?  Let me know what you discover.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Vision Quest

I would say the vision quest offers more direct access to the Animal Powers than Christianity does; for in our civilization we have cut ourselves off from the roots of our instincts.  Christianity in the thirteenth century still maintained this primitivism, the source of its vision; it had found its mind, seized the greek thought, an achievement the aboriginals never could match.

 

Quote by:
William Everson
Christian Mystics
Page 179


See?  This proves again that Christian thought melded many other spiritual beliefs together in some cases. Exactly my process.  On page 180 of Christian Mystics a quote attributed to William Everson says that Jesus was the first true Shaman.  Whether you believe it or not, whether it’s sacrilege or not is beside the point.  There are those who believe it to be the case.  Your belief system influences your worldview.  There’s that pesky Law of Attraction rearing its head again:
your thoughts, your belief is what creates your world.   If you believe it, then it is true in your paradigm.

Should you be interested in following a Shamanic blog, I highly recommend checking out my friend, Carla Goddard’s Shaman Medicine Woman.  Our paths and thoughts frequently connect.  The two of us have a tendency to sometimes write about the same things without the other knowing.

Shamanism is a very old practice.  According to Crystalinks:
Shamanism is a range of traditional beliefs and practices that involve the ability to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause human suffering by traversing the axis mundi and forming a special relationship with, or gaining control over, spirits. Shamans have been credited with the ability to control the weather, divination, the interpretation of dreams, astral projection, and traveling to upper and lower worlds. Shamanistic traditions have existed throughout the world since prehistoric times.

Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits that affect the lives of the living. In contrast to animism and animatism, which any and usually all members of a society practice, shamanism requires specialized knowledge or abilities. Shamans are not, however, organized into full-time ritual or spiritual associations, as are priests.

Just as early Christianity has taken from various belief systems such as Shamanism, I’ve melded some of Shamanism into my own worldview, specifically shaman belief that each of us has an animal guide that is always by our side.  How can we find our own animal?  Look at your life and determine what qualities you possess, then look for those same qualities in the animal world.  Maybe you identify with a specific animal
from an early age.  A wolf?  A dolphin?  If that is the case then research the animal you most identify with.  Look for qualities you share with your animal.  This MAY JUST be your shamanic animal.

My animal guide?  It’s a wolf.  I’ve known this since before I was sixteen. I’ve always been infatuated with wolves.  If you look at What’s Your Sign and specifically the Wolf Totem, the first thing that stands out to me is:
The Wolf is a representative of deep faith, and profound understanding.

Anyone who knows me either virtually or in reality knows how deep my faith is.  The wolf is also loyal.  Ask any of my friends and I guarantee they will say that I am loyal, sometimes even to my detriment.  I share so many other qualities with the wolf.  Too many to list here.  I have a Shamanic Category at Wisdom and Life should you be interested in seeing a bit more on the topic.

Do you know your Shamanic Animal?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Geese, Birds and Funerals

I went to my Uncle’s Funeral last Thursday, January 5, 2012.  When he was being interred at Saint John’s Cemetery in Norwalk, Connecticut; as the priest was speaking, a flock of geese begin honking and a moment later everyone looked up and the geese flew directly over the congregation.
Image from:
Pixabay
FlyingGeese
Now anyone who has been following this blog for sometime must understand that I’m constantly looking for meaning in any sacred event.  There are no accidents.  Everything happens for a reason.  My thoughts went immediately to:
Okay.  What’s the significance of geese at a funeral?  
My first thought was centered on geese alone since that was the bird that flew over.  As I researched the topic and came up empty, I decided to delve a little deeper into the subject to discover if there was some other meaning into geese in general.  The next trip I made was looking into the shamanic meaning of geese.  That’s where I found the quote:
Their honking call speaks of the fulfilled promises that great quests bring.  
That quote appeared at  Lin’s Domain.  What do YOU think the significance is?  What greater quest is there then your transition?  And what’’s the promise?  The promise is that we do NOT die, that death is simply a moving toward another life, that we simply fall asleep in one place and awaken in another.  That is the fulfilled promise.  That is the promise that was on show during the internment ceremony last Thursday.  The fact of the geese honking as they flew over the internment last Thursday was a subtle way of informing those at the ceremony that all was well and Jim was on his way to his next journey.
After I was unsuccessful at finding anything directly related to geese at funerals,  I came across Myth Encyclopedia.  If you scroll down the page until you find:
Life, Death, and the Soul
This quote:
(Many myths have linked birds to the arrival of life or death. With their power of flight, these winged creatures were seen as carriers or symbols of the human soul, or as the soul itself, flying heavenward after a person died. A bird may represent both the soul of the dead and a deity at the same time.)
definitely offers consolation.
The next time you’re at an internment ceremony and you see a significant number of birds flying overhead, take time to acknowledge the birds, thank them for carrying the spirit of the deceased safely to its next transition.  Those of us on this spiritual journey, those of us who are always looking for answers to life’s odd events such as what happened at my Uncle’s funeral are fortunate to understand that life is miraculous, life is full of chance events and as I’m fond of saying:
unless you’re steeped in the spiritual realm these things will pass you by and you’ll never understand their significance.
That’s why I’m here.
That’s why I’m writing this blog.  I want to help those who are wearing their spiritual blinders.
Take those blinders off and see the world as it REALLY is:
The world is spiritual.
NOT physical.
We are after all spiritual beings having a physical experience.
Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Dream Photography

Anyone who has been following this blog for any length of time realizes my affinity for wolves.  In April 2011 I wrote an entry called:
Loyalty where I speak of many of the wolf’s attributes that I share.  Loyalty being one.  I believe the wolf is my Shamanic Totem Animal.

Image from
Pixabay

 

It should come as no surprise then that my dream photography trip is to head west and photograph wolves in their natural habitat.  It’s ALWAYS been on my to do list.

Money and time is no object! What and where do you want to photograph? You can choose any number of things and places. Rank them in priority. Remember this lesson and work toward making these goals come to fruition. My ultimate vision is traveling west to where wolves still run free.

From day one I’ve been fascinated by wolves. One of my favorite photographers is Jim Brandenburg, simply because he’s been able to capture so much of the quintessential wolf photography on the market today. I would love nothing better then to go out and shoot with Mr. Brandenburg on one of his wolf journeys.

Here are two quintessential Brandenburg wolf images:


Take a gander at his website here:
Jim Brandenburg

Point your mouse to Select Gallery and select Wolves. I bet you’ll recognize several of these photographs as Mr Brandenburg’s, even if you didn’t know who took them before.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Loyalty

Loyalty means not that I agree with everything you say, or that I believe you are always right. Loyalty means that I share a common ideal with you and that, regardless of minor differences, we strive for it, shoulder to shoulder, confident in one another’s good faith, trust, constancy, and affection.

 

—Dr. Karl Menninger
Walk The Talk
April 26, 2011

 

Today’s inspiration comes from:
Wisdom of Wolves
Leadership Lessons From Nature

 

Interesting that the quote above comes from Wolves.  I discovered MANY years ago while taking several anthropology courses both in high school and college that the wolf is my shamanic animal.  Both in high school as well as in college, we were visited by outside lecturers who were experts in the Native American studies.  I clearly remember an exercise  we took part in one of the courses I took at Southern Connecticut State Universirty.  We were asked if there was a particular animal that resonated with us.  For me the wolf has ALWAYS been a part of my life.  The class was asked if we found an animal we THOUGHT spoke to us, we were to go home and ask our friends what qualities they saw in us.  Not to mention why, just bring up the question as naturally as possible.

The two qualities that arose over and over from my friends were?

Loyalty and Premonition.

I asked what my friends meant by the latter and EVERY one said I seemed to instinctively know from an immediate meeting that we would be friends.  Even today I’ve had people comment on the fact that I can tell from a first meeting whether we’re going to be friends for the long haul or simply acquaintances.  I never gave that any thought until it was brought up by EVERY one of my friends for the first time over ten years ago.  Now that I’m aware of it, I take advantage of that quality and it has NEVER let me down.  Every one of my friends I have now I KNEW would be a long haul friend.

Wolves are extremely loyal and they have to KNOW from a first encounter whether they can trust.

Other qualities I share with the wolf according to my friends are:

–that wolves, though strong, disagreements rarely result in serious fights.

As seen above with my premonition example:
–Wolves have a capacity for making quick and firm emotional attachments.
–Learning to trust your own insights and secure your attachments accordingly is part of what wolf medicine teaches.

The last two examples came from the book:

Animal Speak by Ted Andrews available at Amazon
Pages 323-325  –The Wolf.
After reading the passage on The Wolf and hearing from my friends both then and now, I’m more convinced then ever that it is the wolf who walks beside me.

Loyalty is a quality I share with the wolf.  If you’re in my circle, you can trust that I will stand by your side and do everything I can to protect you, to help you, to ensure that you move forward.  Ask any one of my friends and I’m convinced they will attest to that fact.  Do you count loyalty as one of your traits?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

 

Shamanic Animal Totems

Do you know what a shamanic animal totem is?  Do want to know?  Animal Speak by Ted Andrews is available at Amazon.  This will help explain what animal totems are and how you can discover yours.  I’m sure you can also find it at one of your local libraries.

I believe my totem is the wolf.  Wolves have always fascinated me.  I have them everywhere in my home.  Pictures and statues. You can’t look anywhere and not find them.  According to Animal Speak:
–The wolf has a capacity for making quick and firm emotional attachments.  Learning to trust your own insights and to secure your attachments accordingly is part of what wolf medicine teaches.

As I’ve said here before I really don’t let many people into my sphere, but those who are in my circle can be sure they will always have a place there.  It doesn’t take me long to understand if someone is going to be a friend.  Ask anyone who is in my circle and I’m sure they’ll say the same thing.  I have an uncanny ability to pick people out of a crowd and know almost instantly if they are going to be my friend.

Loyalty is another attribute of the wolf and when it comes to business I’m sometimes loyal to my detriment.  That’s all part of the wolf though.

According to New Age Mystic and his wolf totem page:
–Wolf Medicine tells you that slow and steady gets the prize.

–Wolf brings with him a strong sense of faithfulness, inner strength and intuition.

–The Wolf has excellent hearing sensitivity, and is a reminder that you should listen to others, especially those closest to you; but also to yourself your most inner thoughts and words. This will strengthen and enhance your own intuition and discernment.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the time I’ve been studying The Law of Attraction and becoming more spiritual as a result it’s that patience REALLY is a virtue.  Nothing is ever really gained on the quick.  You only have to look at the story of The Tortoise and the Hare to know that to be true.

Spirituality and Faith run through this entire blog.  I KNOW I don’t have to discuss that again.  Anyone who has read ANYTHING here understands how deeply faithful and spiritual I am.

I think once again if you were to poll my friends and anyone who knows me even a little bit you’ll find that they tell you that I listen intently to anything anyone says.  If I have any advice to offer, I think long and hard and only offer my thoughts after I’ve reflected on the matter at hand for the time I think it takes to offer my sound opinion.

For these reasons above and many more I sincerely believe my animal totem is the wolf.

Is there a particular animal that you have an affinity for?  If so read up on that animal and discover its attributes.  You may find your Shamanic Animal Totem.

Here is some linkage to keep you busy searching for your totem:
Animal Symbols
Animal Spirits
Animal Spirit Guides

As an addendum, I may have mentioned my friend, Carla Goddard’s blog:
Sacred Soul Shaman here in the past.  We have written about the same topics on our respective blogs so many times.  The weird thing?
We’ve NEVER planned it.  My blog today is about Shamanic Animal Totems.  As anyone who has been following my blog knows, I write these entries weeks in advance.  This particular post was written LAST Wednesday.
Went on Carla’s blog this morning as I usually do.  I have several blogs that I read and hers is one I never try to miss.  Well, you’ll never guess what I discovered.  Monday’s entry was about Shamanic Animal Totems.

Kinda weird that this has happened so often and only with Carla.  There are so many other blogs I follow that discuss the same topics as I do.  Why does this happen just with Carla Goddard?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!

Chris



Serendipity

I’m playing with all of you today. Remember at the end of yesterday’s entry I said I typically write these weeks in advance? Well, today it’s important to pay attention to ALL the words I used. Which one do you think is the MOST important word in that sentence? If you chose:
TYPICALLY give yourself a prize.

I ACTUALLY did have another entry written for today, but after talking on the phone yesterday to my friend who I also emailed yesterday and after reading Wendy McGee’s entry yesterday I decided to post this entry today and NOT next Tuesday as I originally planned. Today’s ORIGINAL post has been shuffled to NEXT Tuesday.

After reading my post today I’m sure you’ll see it makes MUCH more sense to use THIS one today and NOT next Tuesday. Without further ado I give you:
Serendipity:

Emailed a friend of mine yesterday who was an early follower of my blog to talk to him about some of the events that have been lining up in my life recently. The overriding factor to this is what I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s Dreams Entry where conversations I’ve had have turned to be topics for upcoming blog entries.

I follow a number of blogs and one of my friends, Wendy McGee has a blog called:
Life With Wendy and she posted something yesterday:
Coming Soon — 7 more days that stopped me cold yet again. In the entry she used some key terms that I refer to ALL the time:
–I am not here for me but rather here because I have a gift I need to share.
–Everyone has their own mission

Look at the following entry I wrote in June called Finding Your Gift. I certainly don’t expect everyone to be on the same page, to see everything as I do now, but even those who doubt some of what I may spout here occasionally (I know you’re out there and that’s fine) EVEN you must have chills after that, and seeing the similarities in our entries were written months apart.

I’ve written about these two topics consistently throughout the time I’ve been writing this blog. But I found the initial key to unlocking all these serendipitous events a few months ago by discovering Carla Goddards’s blog:
A Shaman Medicine Woman’s Journey.

Don’t recall now how I even came across her blog but there have been SO many times when we’re on the EXACT same page. Either I’ll write something and later discover a similar topic that she has written about or she’ll write something and I’ll go back and read it then I’ll slap my head and think, HOLY cow! I just wrote something about that the other day. She unlocked my spiritual doors and threw them open, shedding light on a place I KNEW was there. I didn’t have the keys to open that particular door though.

Now that that door has been swung open I’m privy to so many more experiences, and I can see them SO much clearer. No longer am I pressing my eyes against a clouded over window or attempting to open a door with a set of keys that don’t fit. I’m convinced that Carla had the set of keys I needed and once more I’m struck by the awe of my own God presenting me gifts when I need them. I’ve spoken about this earlier as well, that God gives us what we need when we need it, not before and not after. He knows the EXACT time we need something and he’s ALWAYS RIGHT on time.

I see so many serendipitous events happening now and I truly believe that I wouldn’t have seen them earlier. It’s not my place to figure out why these things are happening; but I’m convinced there’s a reason for it. At some point, another door will be unlocked by someone else, shedding light on another room. Then and ONLY then will I understand why this is happening to me now. It’s still fun to puzzle out why these events are occurring, however.

Check out Hope Despite Depression’s post on synchronicity.

Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!

Chris